2009 January 16 Friday
Military Report Considers Possible Chaos In Mexico

A US military report, The Joint Operating Environment 2008, considers the possibility that Mexico will descend into chaos.

The Mexican possibility may seem less likely, but the government, its politicians, police, and judicial infrastructure are all under sustained assault and pressure by criminal gangs and drug cartels. How that internal conflict turns out over the next several years will have a major impact on the stability of the Mexican state. Any descent by Mexico into chaos would demand an American response based on the serious implications for homeland security alone.

The drug and criminal cartels are not the only destabilizing influence on Mexico. Declining oil field production is another substantial problem. In a few years Mexico will become a net oil importer and won't be able to afford to maintain current levels of oil consumption.

Drug violence from Mexico could escalate in the US as a spillover.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said last week that the U.S. needed to be prepared for a spillover of the drug violence into the U.S. and would have to be prepared to fight it.

That means a military surge not to defend faraway Iraq, but defending our own homeland. A collapsed state will bring millions of Mexicans spilling over our border, not as illegal immigrants, but war refugees, fleeing for their lives from violence.

What to do in that case? Investors Daily recommends letting in millions of refugees. I say build huge border walls instead. If Mexico needs our help then send in US troops to occupy part of it and make that part suitable for refugees. Also, form military and intelligence teams to hunt down and kill the people who control the big drug cartels.

The U.S. will have no choice but to accept such refugees on humanitarian grounds, just as Pakistan, Thailand and Venezuela have had to do from over their own borders in the past. Criminals often embed themselves among them, to prey on the helpless and to expand their operations, creating a new internal threat to the U.S.

A much tighter US border with Mexico would cut the flow of drugs from Mexico and cut the money flowing to drug cartels.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2009 January 16 12:57 AM  Mexico


Comments
Ned said at January 16, 2009 5:54 AM:

From the US State Department web site:

Some recent Mexican army and police confrontations with drug cartels have taken on the characteristics of small-unit combat, with cartels employing automatic weapons and, on occasion, grenades. Firefights have taken place in many towns and cities across Mexico but particularly in northern Mexico, including Tijuana, Chihuahua City and Ciudad Juarez. The situation in northern Mexico remains fluid; the location and timing of future armed engagements cannot be predicted.

As Mexico continues to dissolve into narco-terrorist anarchy, we can expect that millions of its citizens will stream north across the US border. They will be seeking safety and security, not necessarily jobs. The MSM will be full of heart-rending stories about this situation. And, of course, once they cross the Rio Grande, their care and feeding will become the responsibility of the US taxpayer. We need to build the fence now and deploy troops to protect the border. And the US needs to tend to its own affairs and stay out of Mexico in particular and Latin America in general. We have enough problems here without worrying about what's going on south of the border, which is none of our business anyway.

Eric Stratton, Rush Chairman said at January 16, 2009 7:33 AM:

If as Ned suggests there is some sort of rush by millions of refugees due to a collapse of the Mexican government, then I guess we'd find out whose side the politicians really are on, wouldn't we?

50 years ago there would have been no doubt. Ike threw out a million illegals in 1953-54, and if faced with a refugee situation as speculated here, would have sent troops to the border.

George Bush 43 would send the f**in' welcome wagon, and then for good measure go on TV and tell us we're bigots for not wanting our lives and country disrupted and changed beyond recognition.

What would Obama do? The conventional wisdom says that as a liberal Democrat and a minority himself, he'd be George Bush on steroids. I'm not so sure...Obama is by nature very cautious and wants to be re-elected in '12. He has to realize that allowing in millions of Mexican refugees in a mad rush isn't going to sit well, even in the deepest blue states. Even if he wanted to, there's the pesky matter of the constitution, and this would be viewed by serious people as a failure to execute the duties of his office. The Clinton episode was a joke, this would not be. Articles of impeachment would be brought against Obama, raising the possibility of a Senate trial. Speculating further, I would guess at that point Obama's support would start to crumble quickly, as Senators fearful for their own careers run for the exits. Some choice for Obama: resign in disgrace or risk conviction in a Senate trial.

So...if I had to predict what would happen I'd say that in the event the Mexican scenario plays itself out, Obama does the right thing after all and cruises to re-election in '12 with 70% of the popular vote.

blue said at January 16, 2009 8:43 AM:

Poor nations of the world are poor of course because their citizens have lower average IQs and are more badly behaved than those of rich countries.

What happens if a significant fraction of the people who are reasonably law abiding and are of average to above average intelligence leave a poor country?

What happens to the society left behind? Doesn't it worsen considerably? And also, as the society deteriorates, won't even more people leave, finding it to be unsatisfactory, creating a viscious cycle?

If there had been an impassible wall between Mexico and the US and all the Mexicans in the US had stayed in Mexico, wouldn't Mexico be a better place today because the quality of people in Mexico would be higher? There would be more good guys or at least non-bad guys in the country.

Wouldn't Mexico also be a better place because Mexicans would fight for their country against the drug cartels and kidnapping industry, rather than just abandoning her and fleeing for the US?

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Usually, immigration boosters such as the Wall Street Journal make comments along the lines that immigrants are "voting with their feet" when they leave their countries. If a country doesn't want its people to emigrate, the government should "become better" or something.

I've always felt that this sort of mentality assumes a world divided between smart Communist and smart non-Communist countries. Russia is a smart country. China is a smart country. North Korea is a smart country. If the USSR didn't want to lose people to the US, or the People's Republic of China to Taiwan/Hong Kong, the countries in question should stop being so Communistic.

This worldview doesn't take into account that low IQ countries, whether Communist or not, cannot sustain or create "good" governments, *especially* if they are democracies. When reasonably okay people from low IQ countries leave, that leaves even fewer good people behind who can try to improve the government or who by virtue of living there, automatically make the society better.

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My parents are immigrants to the US from India, and I think about this sort of thing all the time. It's always nicer for higher IQ people from poor countries to live in high IQ countries, but it's not good for the lower IQ countries themselves or even the high IQ coutries it seems (because of resulting diversity issues).

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Anonymous said at January 16, 2009 11:24 AM:

What if Mexico was populated by Japanese instead of Mexicans ? It would be the economic powerhouse of the hemisphere. What if it was populated by Germans ? Same thing. People would be trying to get in there instead of getting out.

Wolf-Dog said at January 17, 2009 5:21 AM:

The amount people spend on illegal drugs in the United States, is at least $100 billion per year, most of which is paid in cash to South American cartels. In the future if there is a new method of making people stop using illegal drugs in America, then the economy of Mexico will collapse for sure, because their oil exports are declining already. This might be one reason the U.S. government is reluctant to take stronger measures on domestic drug use.

The problem is that the total foreign trade deficit is already $700 billion per year, and so this unofficial $100 billion can be added to the trade deficit figures.

whatever said at January 18, 2009 2:11 AM:

I think the "brain drain" argument doesn't really apply in the case of Mexico. In terms of relative numbers, few highly educated Mexicans emmigrate to the US. A far higher percentage of Mexican immigrants in the US are without a high school education, and many lack even a middle school education. In effect, Mexico exports a significant percentage of its now redundant peasant class to the US. If all of these people remained in Mexico, and if their relatives were thus denied remittances from the US, life in Mexico would grow even harder. Nevertheless, this is a made-in-Mexico problem, and should be dealt with by Mexico, rather than exporting the problem to the US.


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